Peri Menopause can be scary, but also funny if you keep it in perspective.
When it's time to change, then its time to change- Brady Bunch
Don't fight the tide, come along for the ride, don't you see
When it's time to change, you've got to rearrange
who you are into what you're gonna be.
I am actually not old enough to remember watching Brady Bunch when it first aired (1969-1974). I was around then, but really too young to watch. However, I watched them endlessly in reruns.
If you haven't seen every episode so many times that you can identify it within 10 seconds like I have, big brother Greg wrote the song above because middle brother Peter's voice was changing. He was experiencing that flux of hormones that male humans experience in their early teens marking their transition to adulthood. Then that's it, their hormones pretty much flat line for the rest of their lives.
Not so for women.
Once they hit puberty, the female of the species experiences hormone fluctuations which can be like a monthly roller coaster ride. Until it stops. Until *duh duh duh* "THE CHANGE". You know, Aunt Flow stops coming to visit. No more checking in at the Red Roof Inn. Mother Nature no longer brings her monthly gifts. No more cotton pony rides. No horses stampeding through your ovaries! (need more euphemisms?)
But like any good roller coaster, it saves the really crazy stuff for the end of the ride: hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, forgetfulness, fatigue, irregular menses.
And the kicker is, you won't know The Big M is complete until a full year has gone without the Redcoats landing.
Since we practice Natural Family Planning, I know my cycle has always been pretty close to 28 days for most of my life. I have been late twice, once at 15 when it was supposed to occur on our vacation to Hawaii, but thankfully waited until we got back home. The second was when I was pregnant with J. We knew his real due date better than the doctors.
The past year I have noticed that there is increasingly more variance to my cycle length, with every other one being in the 24-25 day range. I did what I usually do when I have a burning medical question: got on the phone with Nurse Sister-In-Law and whined asked "aren't they supposed to get longer?" Nope, in the early stages they can get shorter and vary from long one month to short the next.
Rejoicing about Peri-Menopause
So, it looks like I am heading up that last big climb on the roller coaster of womanhood. And how do I feel about it?
BRING IT ON!
LET'S DO THIS!
Go Mommy, go Mommy!
Who's got it better than us? NOBODY. (oops lost myself there)
No really. I am not being sarcastic, for once. I am sooooooo ready for this.
Some women might be upset about "permanent infertility". Not me. I gave birth one month after my 40th birthday. Almost five years later and the kid still doesn't sleep through the night consistently! We are still not completely done with potty training. I do not want to go through all of THAT again. And, I am more than ready to be done charting and scheduling our intimate time so we make sure we don't go through that again.
Peri Menopause is a Great Excuse
But the absolute best part of the prospect of beginning this new stage of life is I have a new excuse!
Forgetfulness? I don't have to blame Mommy Brain anymore. Now I can use peri menopause!
Fatigue? Not that I stayed up too late online, or making mental to do lists (or even the kid chatting to himself in bed for 2 hours in the middle of the night). Nope, peri menopause.
Weight gain? Nothing to do with the Peppermint Bark Cheesecake I ate all by myself. It's peri menopause.
Mood swings? Aaaah Ah Aaaaah Ah (that was my tarzan yell). Not my fault! peri menopause.
I am being responsible, and have made an appointment with my ob/gyn just to be sure there isn't something else going on. And if this isn't the start of The Change of Life, it will be coming eventually. There is no way of knowing how long it will take to get up the hill, and how many loops and spins and deep drops are left.
But, I am okay with it, because:
Day by day, it's hard to see the changes you've been through
A little bit of living, a little bit of growing all adds up to you